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2014/2015  BA-BHAAO2001U  Intellectual Property Rights and Strategy

English Title
Intellectual Property Rights and Strategy

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Course period Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Lee Davis - Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics (INO)
Main academic disciplines
  • Business Law
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Management
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 20-06-2014
Learning objectives
After completing this course, students should demonstrate that they can:
  • Understand the theories, concepts, tools and cases covered in the course
  • Recognize the IPR-related management challenges that arise at each stage of the innovative process from idea conception to commercialization
  • Apply different theories and concepts in strategic analysis of concrete company cases
  • Discuss legal problems that may arise in attempting to protect and promote a firm’s innovation strategy
  • Critically assess the scope, limits and complementarities of applying the theories, concepts and principles to issues covered in the course
Intellectual Property Rights and Strategy:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam
Individual or group exam Individual
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Spring Term
Aids allowed to bring to the exam Limited aids, see the list below and the exam plan/guidelines for further information:
  • Books and compendia brought by the examinee
  • Notes brought by the examinee
  • Allowed calculators
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
Course content and structure

The course will be taught in English

Aim of the course

To profit from investments in innovation, entrepreneurs must not only have a promising invention, and define a suitable market, they must also develop a strategy to protect their intellectual assets. From the inception of the idea through final commercialization, the entrepreneur acts within a social environment, developing the invention, organizing its implementation, and competing on the market. At each stage, entrepreneurs are confronted with the dilemma: how much information to divulge, in what ways, and to whom – to fulfill their objectives: whether exploring the potential of the idea with friends and colleagues, seeking financial support from banks/angels/venture capitalists, hiring suitably qualified employees, engaging in collaboration, and so forth. In all these cases, knowledge of the alternatives, constraints, and opportunities embodied in the strategic exploitation of intellectual property rights (IPRs) is essential to entrepreneurial success. The nascent entrepreneur is also confronted with the rapidly evolving nature of i nternational intellectual property rights regimes. The challenges of digital technology for copyrighted goods, the consequences of the expanding realms of patentable technologies, the need to craft a strong brand, the challenges of protecting new designs, or licensing or franchising the rights – complicate IPR strategic decision-making. This course aims to elucidate the deeper nature of these choices by introducing students to the vexing dilemmas they will face – such as, for example: under what circumstances might it enhance profitability to refrain from enforcing IPRs? to use secrecy? to focus efforts on coming first to the market? – and to provide students with IPR tools they can use in their quest for entrepreneurial success.



The IPR challenges facing the entrepreneurial start-up are the focus of this course. Students will form groups focusing on specific entrepreneurial projects, and use these as part of the learning process. The course follows IPR dilemmas and choices through the following three stages.


Creativity and Entrepreneurial Opportunity: How can entrepreneurs know best to move forward with their creative flashes while minimizing the chances that their ideas are copied? How can entrepreneurs decide how best to reveal information about their inventions to potential business partners? What IPR instruments which can be used to these ends? For would-be entrepreneurs currently employed in a company: What IPR issues arise as part of their considerations to leave the firm and create a new venture?

From Drawing Board to Development: How do IPR issues affect entrepreneur contracting for capital with angel investors or with venture capitalists? Given that entrepreneurs in the beginning may lack manufacturing know-how, how can they best cooperate with other firms and maintain/enhance their proprietary rights? Given the rise of digital technologies, when might open access be a preferred option?

Creating Commercial Value: How can entrepreneurs best build the relevant intellectual assets and find the best combinations of knowledge, increasing their chances for successful commercial performance? How can the potential market for the invention be gauged, given the IPR positions of competitors on these markets? What IPR issues are important when the entrepreneur is considering engaging in R&D joint ventures, or licensing out the rights?



This course builds on the courses of the previous three semesters, in particular “Innovation Economics and Management,” and “Law.”

Teaching methods
Teaching will consist of a combination of lectures, class discussions, cases and simulations building on perspectives from the readings along with practical examples from business. In class, students will discuss promising entrepreneurial projects and address the intellectual property issues that arise in each stage of the entrepreneurial enterprise. Cases and negotiation simulations will enable student identification of the various real-life options, including the changing role of IPRs, and how these might be resolved.
Expected literature
·       Apke, T. M. 1998. Acquisition and licensing of intellectual property", Managerial Law, 40 (6), 5-15.
·       Beverland, M. B., Napoli, J. and Farrelly, F. 2010. Can all brands innovate in the same way? A Typology of brand position and innovation effort. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 27: 33-48.
·       Cusumano, M. A. 2013. Technology strategy and management: The Apple-Samsung lawsuits. Communications of the ACM, January, 56 (1): 28-31 (case).
·       Davis, L 2008. Licensing strategies of the new intellectual property vendors, California Management Review. Winter 2008 (February): 6-26.
·       Davis, L. 2006. Why do small high-tech firms take out patents, and why not? in Andersen, B., ed. Intellectual Property Rights: Innovation, Governance and the Institutional Environment (London: Edward Elgar), 148-176.
·       Edvinsson, L 1996. Developing a model for managing intellectual capital. European Management Journal 14 (4), August, 356-364.
·       Fisher, W.W. and Oberholzer-Gee, F. 2013. Strategic management of intellectual property: an integrated approach. California Management Review 55 (4), Summer, 157-183.
·       Gangadharan, G., D’Andrea, V., Paoli, S., Weiss, M. 2012. Managing license compliance in free and open source software development; Information Systems Frontiers, 14 (2), 143-154
·       Gans, J.S., Stern, S. 2003. The product market and the market for ‘ideas’: commercialization strategies for technology entrepreneurs. Research Policy 32(2): 333-350.
·       Gemser, G., Jacobs, D. and Ten Cate, R. 2006. Design and competitive advantage in technology-driven sectors: The role of usability and aesthetics in Dutch IT companies. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management 18 (5), December, 561-80.
·       Hornick, J. and Roland, D. 2013. 3D printing and intellectual property: Initial thoughts. The Licensing Journal, August, pp. 12-16.
·       Lemper, T.A. 2012. The critical role of timing in managing intellectual property; Lemper, Timothy A., Business Horizons, 2012, 55 (4), 339-347
·       MacQueen, H., Waelde, C., Laurie, G and Brown, A. 2010. Contemporary Intellectual Property Law and Policy (Oxford University Press).
·       Morkel, A. and Willoughby, K. 1992. Orbital Engine Corporation, 15 pages(case).
·       Pagnattaro, M. A. 2012, Preventing know-how from walking out the door in China: Protection of trade secrets, Business Horizons, 55(4), 329-337.
·       Peters, T., Thiel, J and Tucci, C.L. 2013. Protecting growth options in dynamic markets: The role of strategic disclosure in integrated intellectual property strategies. California Management Review, 55 (4), Summer, 121-142.
·       Rivette, K.G. and Kline, D. 2000. Discovering new value in intellectual property, Harvard Business Review, January-February, 54-66.
·       Wilson, S. and Kambil, A. 2008. Open source: salvation or suicide? Harvard Business Review. April: 33-44 (case)
Last updated on 20-06-2014